On this episode of Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein offers a collage of reflections and practices to help us tap into the realization of non-self.
Reflections on Non-Self
The Buddha’s reflections on non-self might be the jewel of his teachings. Joseph begins by helping us understand that the self is not something we need to get rid of, because it actually doesn’t exist. He offers two practices to begin the shift away from the sense of self we’re so attached to, even if it’s only for a few short moments.
“The whole notion of self is an idea, it’s a view, it’s a perspective that we bring to our experience. It’s not something that’s residing within us.” – Joseph Goldstein
Joseph Goldstein explores the relationship between Dukkha and non-self on Insight Hour Ep. 81
Desire and Craving (20:48)
What is the relationship of desire and craving to the sense of self? Joseph reflects on how there is nothing to want, because whatever we desire is itself impermanent. This is especially true when it comes to the craving for becoming in our meditation practice. He talks about loosening the attachment to our views and opinions, any paying close attention to our desire to be right.
“In that not wanting anything, there is no ‘I am’ at all, there’s no sense of self at all. It’s really a moment of peace. It’s a moment of completion.” – Joseph Goldstein
Identification with Consciousness (39:15)
Perhaps the subtlest hideout of the sense of self is in our identification with consciousness and awareness itself. Joseph explores the conditioned nature of consciousness and how our sense of self is merely a shadow cast by grammar. He closes the show with an insight about the connection between selflessness and loving compassion.
“This is the great mystery of consciousness – there’s nothing to find, and yet the knowing is happening.” – Joseph Goldstein